April 8, 2021

Leaving years of frontend (CSS) development and getting into cybersecurity in my 30s

I’ve always been drawn to hacking and cybersecurity in general, but few years ago I seriously got interested in, and involved myself with, cryptocurrencies in various ways, which raised my awareness for privacy and anonymity much higher than usual, so I had to get involved in this field more seriously now.

I am 34 years old computer science college dropout and I have over 8 years of professional experience in frontend development. However, only layout development part within frontend. One of those few frontend developers nowadays, whose close specialty in layout development makes us stand out as so-called CSS Masters. My close specialty is CSS development. Designers send me a layout and I make various HTML templates using BEM methodology, which JavaScript developers use to reproduce a layout based on my HTML structure from my templates, as well as use my CSS which is carefully crafted from my endless SASS (SCSS) libraries. Even though I’ve been in IT industry for this long, no matter how good I may be at what I do, however, there isn’t any overlapping with security in my line of work.

When I was 4 exams away from graduation, two business opportunities presented themselves within the span of couple of weeks. The first offer was system administrator (I am Linux enthusiast since elementary school, so it’s not foreign to me) at the national library. The second offer was remote work as frontend developer. Both of these are my passions, but I chose frontend development back then and that was my first official job in IT industry. After a month it was clear to me that I’m either gonna have to leave work and finish college, which I was only 4 exams away from graduation, or irrationally drop out and continue working. I dropped out and never looked back at my formal education ever again.

However, after all these years, I just can’t let go of this first passion of mine, which is cybersecurity. I have to try, so I made a starter roadmap:

* Set up a home lab
* Start learning BASH and Python
* Acquire Network+, Security+, RHCSA, CCNA
* Leave frontend development behind me, along with my senior position and good salary
* Get a job as network administrator or system administrator, along with (possibly) junior position and lower salary
* Acquire CySA+, Cloud+, AWS CCP
* Start doing OverTheWire, TryHackMe, Hack The Box, Virtual Hacking Labs, VulnHub…
* Get a job for entry level cybersecurity role of any kind (for start)
* Acquire OSCP, eCPPT

I have a high end desktop machine at home, where I’ll set up virtual machines to start home labbing for network and system administration, and I’ll also rent virtual labs as well. As I progress over time, I plan to eventually add a couple of Raspberry Pis, as well as an additional router, a network switch and a hardware firewall.

I don’t know how much time I’m gonna need for all this, but I’m willing to go for it as long as it takes (I’m single, for what it’s worth). I’m not sure how I’d like to progress after that at that point, but my interests are definitely OffSec and NetSec.

I am **willing** to:

* Leave CSS development, my second ongoing passion, behind me
* Leave my current senior position
* Leave my current good salary
* Leave my current location

I am **not willing** to:

* Work second or third shift, but I am willing to appear at work at any time of day or night if an incident occurs
* Work as help desk

On work days, I am usually able to spare 2-3 hours after work to learn for certifications. On weekends, I usually have around 20 hours of time to learn. **Would it be considered as drawback if I look for a job for (junior?) network/system administrator when I’m 34/35 years old?** Would you jump into this trial by fire if you were in my position right now? **Am I being real here?**

What worries me here the most is my age, actually.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Note: By filling this form and submitting your commen, you acknowledge, agree and comply with our terms of service. In addition you acknowledge that you are willingly sharing your email address with AiOWikis and you might receive notification emails from AiOWikis for comment notifications. AiOWiksi guarantees that your email address WILL NOT be used for advertisement or email marketting purposes.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.